Rockies’ Helton to retire after 17 seasons in majors

PHOENIX — Todd Helton announced late Saturday night that this year will be his final season. He said he made the decision earlier this season.

“I didn’t want to say I was going to return and then come back in,” Helton said Sunday. “I talked to my wife and thought about my body and mentally how I felt going out there for every game. I’m 40. It’s time to go. It’s a young man’s game.

“I wanted to go into the last homestand knowing it was the last,” Helton said. “It was brought up to me last week that I couldn’t look at it from my perspective. I had to look at it from the fans’ standpoint. I couldn’t be selfish about it.”

Helton is a career .317 hitter with 367 homers, 1,397 RBIs, 1,394 runs, a .415 on-base percentage and a .539 slugging percentage. He was an All-Star from 2000-04 and is the Rockies’ leader in games, hits, doubles, home runs, RBIs, runs and walks. He also won three Gold Gloves at first base.

“Obviously, yeah, I wish we did win a World Series,” Helton said. “But when I look at it, I think I was very blessed, fortunate to be in the World Series. I look at the lot of things we did accomplish and not the one we didn’t.”


Puig out with left hip soreness: In Los Angeles, Yasiel Puig was out of Dodgers’ starting lineup against San Francisco because of left hip soreness.

Manager Don Mattingly said Puig could miss anywhere from “a day or two weeks” before saying that the rookie outfielder doesn’t need an MRI.

“It doesn’t seem that serious,” Mattingly said. “Just trying to give myself a big window.”

Puig is hitting .339 with 16 home runs and 37 RBIs. He came in as a pinch-hitter Sunday and grounded out to end the game.


Parker scratched from start because of illness: In Arlington, Texas, Athletics right-hander Jarrod Parker was scratched from his start against the Rangers because of an illness.

Parker is 9-0 in his past 19 starts. His winning streak is the longest by an Oakland pitcher since Dan Haren in 2008. The last Athletics pitcher with a longer unbeaten streak was Lefty Grove’s 21 in a row in 1931.

Japanese League

Balentien breaks Japan’s home-run record: In Tokyo, former major leaguer Wladimir Balentien hit his 56th and 57th home runs Sunday, breaking the Japanese single-season record set by legendary slugger Sadaharu Oh 49 years ago.

Balentien hit the record-breaking three-run homer in the first inning and hit a solo shot in the third.

Oh set the mark of 55 in 1964.